Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Shows That Need To Come Back - 01: Red Dwarf

As this series was inspired by Jan (it's not just totally copied off her, honest!), I thought I would share it with you guys... Enjoy!


In a similar, but totally different (it has a different name) idea to Jan's 'TV shows that I want back' series, I thought I too, would share some of my favourite shows of times gone by that have sadly bitten the dust... Allons-y!

Strictly speaking, Red Dwarf  hasn't bit the dust completely. Thanks to Dave (a UK TV chanel that mainly airs reruns), and online campaigns, the show was given a three part special in 2009, a 10th series in 2012, and, rumour has it, there may be an 11th series airing 2015. That said, they are more like odd specials rather than the show coming back properly so, in reality, it finished back in 1999.

Red Dwarf  is a character driven comedy set against a sci-fi backdrop. Set primarily on the Jupiter Mining Corporation ship 'Red Dwarf', the show follows the exploits of four ragtag misfits: Dave Lister, Arnold Judas Rimmer, Cat and, a service mechanoid named Kryten (brought in at the start of series 3) in their continuing endevour to find their way to Earth.

The Red Dwarf crew!

Placed in suspended animation in the first episode for having a pregnant cat (Frankenstein) on board (animals were not allowed!), Lister survives a radiation leak that wipes out the entire crew of the ship. When the radiation has died down, some three million years after the leak, the ships computer Holly releases Lister from Stasis, leaving him as the last known human alive in the universe. As well as saving Lister, Holly also created a hologram of the crewmate whom Lister had the most contact with as a means to keep him sane. Sadly for Lister, this crewmate is Rimmer, Lister's hated bunkmate and immediate superior. During this first episode, it is also revealed that, over the course of the three million years, Frankenstein's descendants have evolved into humanoid felines, and Cat, is the last known one.

During the shows runs, Lister and the gang found themselves dealing with strange lifeforms, mutant diseases, time distortions, faster-than-light travel, an incompetent ship computer, Rimmer's cowardice, milk shortage, having to make the difficult choice between Pot Noodle or dog food and many other weird, wacky, and often funny problems.

The Gang

Dave Lister - Craig Charles
Lister 'reading' one of Cat's books.

Orphaned at six weeks old (on 26th November 2155), Dave Lister was found under a pool table in a Liverpool pub (The Aigburth Arms), having been left by his father, who happens to be, Lister himself. Around age 6, after a spell with the Wilmot family, Lister went to live with Grandma Lister, who's surname, and some of her character traits, he took on. At the age of 12, Lister lost his virginity in one of the bunkers on the ninth hole of Bootle municipal golf course, a fact he takes great delight in telling Rimmer. As a teenager, as well as forming a band called Smeg and the Heads (smeghead is a recurring insult in the show), Lister was accepted into art college, however, he dropped out when he learned his schedule would include lectures 'first thing in the afternoon'. On board Red Dwarf, before the radiation leak (and technically after), Lister is a third-class technician, the lowest ranking crewman on the ship. Saved from the radiation leak by his incarceration in suspended animation, Lister is the last known human alive. A self described bum, Lister is lazy, unmotivated and, slobbish, however, he oftern shows a deep moral courage. He has a passion for beer and Indian food, especially chicken vindaloo, both of which are recurring themes in the show.

Arnold Judas Rimmer - Chris Barrie
Rimmer, a little drunk.

Christened Arnold Judas Rimmer, due to his mothers membership in a denomination of Christianity that venerates Judas as Jesus' twin brother, Rimmer had a difficult childhood. He had three older brothers, all of whom overshadowed him greatly. His stepfather used to quiz the boys on astronavigation before meals, refusing them meals if they got it wrong. As well as starvation, Rimmer was also subjected to stretching on the rack to ensure he met the minimum height restriction laid out by the Space Academy. Failing to joing the Space Academy, Rimmer eventually ended up joining the Space Corps as a third-class technician. Serving for 14 years, he finally became, a second-class technician (the second lowest rank). Rimmer is a neurotic, fussy, coward who, failed to replace a drive plate correctly thereby killing the entire crew...An act that he still tries to place some of the blame for on Lister. Killed in the accident (that he caused), Rimmer is resurrected as a hologram by the ships computer, Holly, with the intention of keeping Lister sane. For a portion of the show Rimmer was a soft-light hologram (he couldn't touch anything), however, in a later series he was given, what is in effect, hologram viagra, turning him into a hard light hologram meaning, for want of a better term, he could poke things.

Cat - Danny John-Jules
Cat, in his everyday attire.

Little is known about Cat's past, what we do know is, he is the last known member of Felis sapiens (after the Cat Priest dies in series 01 episode 04), a race of humanoid felines that evolved from Lister's cat, Frankenstein whilst Lister was in statis. Despite visually resembling a human, and mainly communicating like a human, Cat shares many personality traits with cats. He is concerned with nothing but sleeping, eating and his appearance. During his time with Lister and the others, he is influenced by them, however, you can't take the cat out of Cat and he appears like a self-centred, stylish human. In one episode, it is revealed that he has a 'cool' sounding pulse, six nipples and colour-coordinated internal organs... Now, the pulse and colour-coordination would make surgery both fun and easier!

Kryten (Kryten 2X4B-523P) - Robert Llewellyn (main cast), David Ross (single appearance, series 2)
Yeah, so this happens occasionally.

Originally appearing in an episode of series 2 (played by David Ross), Kryten is a service mechanoid abord a crashed spaceship Nova 5. Aboard Nova 5, Kryten served the ship's crew, despite the fact, unbeknownst to him, they have been dead for quite some time. Lister and the other rescue Kryten however, he doesn't appear again in the show until the start of series 3 (played by Robert Llewellyn). Between his rescue and his full time appearacne, Kryten is in an accident involving Lister's spacebike and, Lister is forced to repair him (rather convenient considering actor change!). Kryten is a service mechanoid, and as such, much to Rimmer's joy as he can boss him around, he is bound by behavioural protocols. Lister doesn't like this, and proceeds, over time, to teach Kryten how to break his programming and think for himself... In series 8, (after Red Dwarf and the crew are brought back by nano technology and the gang are imprisoned) Kryten is classified a woman due to lack of male genitalia. This troubles him and, he builds himself a makeshift penis from an old electron board, toilet roll, sticky back plastic and, an Action Man's poloneck jumper. He names said penis Archie and, he proceeds to try teach it by getting it to jump through hoops. Archie isn't good at obaying orders however and, runs around the prison wings, with prisoners mistaking it for a mouse.

Holly - Norman Lovett (series 1, 2, 7 & 8), Hattie Hayridge (series 3, 4 & 5)
Imagine the CGI that went into that...
Oh no wait, they filmed him in black
clothes on a black background...
Take note Michael Bay, it's simple
but effective!

Holly (Norman Lovett), the ships computer is said to have a functional IQ of 6000, however, this is severely diminished by the three million years of runtime and, lack of updates... What, no pesky automatic updates from Windows restarting it mid way through something? Before the radiation leak, Holly had developed 'computer senility', rendering it almost useless... So you can imagine what three million years extra did to it! Between series 2 and 3, Holly changed his face to resemble that of a computer from a parallel universe with whom he'd once fallen madly in love with (Hattie Hayridge), the male face returning in series 7.

No doubt, anyone who watched Red Dwarf  will
use this as an insult at some point.

So there you have it... A little insight into a show I would love to see back on our screens full time, sadly though, I don't think it is likely to happen... I will just have to make do with it showing up sporadicly.

What shows would you love to see back? Leave me your thoughts below.

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself.

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